Taking out the trash: Ground forces get to work on Hamas targets. Peres comments that in 18 days we have done more in the war against terror than the US managed to do in all these years in Iraq. OK, that is a bit of hyperbole, but the operation objectives were to stop the missile fire on Israeli towns and cities, and to stop the weapons build-up in Gaza. Ralph Peters sums it up neatly and goes a long way to explaining the violent anti-Israel international reaction (hat tip to Central LS). (To me it just seems like more of the same knee-jerk response, from UN resolutions to demonstrations in Europe.) And as Yoel Marcus says:
“I feel sorry for the people of Gaza, but I feel even sorrier for the civilian population of southern Israel, which has been bombarded by rockets for the last eight years.”
Meanwhile, imagine the shock that Waltz with Bashir wins a Golden Globe. I usually dislike animation, so I’ve never seen it (esp. as it seems to be that gag-some anime style). There is speculation that had the voting been after the start of this war, the film would not have won, but who knows.
Don’t gag the opposition: In an act of stupidity (probably prompted by frustration), the Knesset Central Elections Committee moves to ban two Arab parties from the next elections. Granted, I think that we should expect all members of Knesset to at least support the right of the country to exist! Can you imagine a new political party in the US that was determined to destroy the country? But the ban will never hold up in court, because it wasn’t put together with a specific list of evidence. And hey, it gave Ahmed Tibi his chance to posture on TV again…
Turkey and Egypt may both be playing vital roles in any negotiation with Hamas. Hamas should be terrified of Egypt, where Islamic extremists are regularly rounded up and “eliminated” in the government’s effort to preserve its power. But Arabs killing Arabs doesn’t get much press, and if Hamas leadership is smart, they’ll stop shooting rockets, close up the tunnel system, and pray that we don’t invite Egypt in to “solve the problem.” Sheesh.